Fifteen Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

There are over 2.05 billion people online shopping in 2020. Now more than ever having a strong SEO strategy is sink or swim for your business.

While sometimes it seems like a crapshoot, there are multiple reasons that separate successful SEO from failures.

If you want to understand the most common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them here is a handy guide to give you an idea of what you could be doing better.

Fifteen Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

1. Your Pictures Aren’t Search Engine Optimized

A picture’s worth a thousand words. In search engine optimization, it’s worth far more.

As of February 2018, around 22.6% of web searches in the United States occurred on Google Images. This means if you’re not optimizing your images for searches your missing out on massive amounts of traffic. Using image optimization produces quicker loading times, more opportunities for ranking, and improved user experience.

If you want your pictures to help garner traffic for your site or blog posts, you need to be sure that you optimize your pictures for your site and search engines.

This means things like:

– Making sure the pictures are relevant and appropriately placed within the webpage.

– Using the right picture format like gif, png, or jpeg.

– Setting up the aspect ratio of your images to look good on both web and mobile pages.

Furthermore. make sure your pictures are the right size before publishing it on your website.

If your image is oversized, it can create massive SEO problems. When an image is too large it takes longer to load on the page. If there are several oversized images of this size it will slow down your load time leading to fewer search engine recommendations.

Name your image file with keywords. This makes it easier to find your images via Google Image search. 

2. You Aren’t Promoting Your Blog Posts

If you build it, they still might not come. Writing an article online isn’t enough. Until you garner a loyal audience of followers, you will struggle to share and spread your content.

You will need a large audience that includes Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram followers, as well as email subscribers, before self-promotion becomes less important. In the beginning though, marketing with social media is extremely important.

Be careful though, this can go too far and enter into the category of spamming. We have some tips to help you become your biggest cheerleader:

– Publish guest posts on other influential sites. Then promote these posts.

– Use Facebook ads to efficiently target your potential audience.

– Release your blog posts on both your personal and professional social media.

– Use internal linking to bring attention to older posts.

– Share content with your email list.

– Use Linkedin to your advantage. Linkedin Ads allow you to reach an untapped audience. Post summaries of your content.

If you want to be successful at self-promotion, you need to take advantage of all the social media networks available. Once you’ve built your audience, you can begin to focus your content promotion strategy on where your audience is most active.

3. Your Content Isn’t Formatted Correctly

If your regular blog posts don’t contain paragraphing, headings, and correct spacing then you’re making a monumental SEO mistake. Correctly formatting your work makes it easier for search engines to find it, and easier for your users to read and share it.

Using headings allows your readers to get a better feel for the content in the article and how it will be useful to them. Use things like italics, bullet points, and headings to make your content more accessible.

Also, note that things like poor spelling and grammar or poor editing can lead to Google labeling your site as a low-quality website. Making it less likely that they will recommend it to others.

Some sites also may not be formatted correctly. One of the biggest styling mistakes is not using the H1 tag correctly. 

To understand how H1 tags work, we need to look at how Google searches online content. Google uses crawlers or bots to archive content from your site. These bots read the content of your site and index the site accordingly.

One of the most common SEO mistakes is using multiple H1 tags. This confuses the crawlers and makes them unable to archive your content. It can have various consequences from programmer error to bad site design.

To diagnosis this problem on your site, you need to go to the page and right-click. Then, press view page source from the menu.

You can locate H1 using the find menu. If you discover that there are over two instances of an H1 tag, it needs to be reformatted. 

4. You’re Not Using the Tools Provided by Search Engines

Once you’ve implemented your SEO strategy you might think you’re done and can move onto other parts of the marketing strategy. Wrong, because the next step is monitoring your strategy using tools that have been provided by search engines. 

Tools like Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools guide how your sites are doing in search engine rankings.

Google Search Console helps measure traffic to your site and check the indexing status of your webpage. The site also provides training on how to use Console. You can also ensure that Google has the most up to date view of your site.

5. You’re Not Using Analytics to Improve Your Marketing Strategy

Though it may seem like once you’ve got your page to rank on the first page of Google your quest is complete, you still need to consider conversion. Conversions refer to whatever final action you want the user of the site to take, whether it’s making a purchase or reading more blog posts. If you want more conversions on your site, you’re going to need to fine-tune your SEO strategy using tools like Google Analytics

You need to find accurate data about your strategy to make changes to your SEO strategy. One of the benefits of SEO analytics is they let you see how successful your campaign is. This include tools like conversion tracking for keyword phrases.

The information you gather helps you create a more effective strategy that will drive more conversions to your site.

6. You’re Meta Description and Tags Are Not Unique

Having the right tiles, headings, and titles helps search engines easily index your content. This makes it easier for you to find clients. Therefore, it’s incredibly important for you to make all your page names distinct.  

It will also help when sharing content. Because the title page of a website is the first thing people see when a website is shared, your titles need to help you stand out. It will help your page be more easily accessed for later reference if bookmarked.

Each page also needs to contain a brief and unique meta description that entices the reader to view that page. These descriptions help your posts stand out on the search results page.

If your site has a lot of content, then you may have trouble ensuring that all your descriptions and titles are original. Luckily, some tools make verifying the originality of your descriptions like site auditing tools.

7. You’re Using Keywords Wrong

This can mean things like using keyword stuffing or not doing effective keyword research

Some common SEO mistakes to avoid are:

– Only picking keywords that apply to people looking for free information. If your website is based around sales, choose keywords that will most likely be for people looking to buy.

– Using Global keywords when you only serve the local clientele.

The bottom line is, unless your site is large and already well-established, choosing specific keywords is the way to go. Note that as your website gets bigger you can choose more competitive keywords.

8. You’re Not Updating Your Social Media Accounts

This point is especially important as you begin to build your audience to take advantage of multiple platforms.

Having inactive social media accounts projects the image that the business is closed or unprofessional.

A good rule of thumb for popular social media accounts is to provide updates two to three times per week depending on how big the company is. 

9. Your Site Isn’t Set up for Mobile Users

A mobile-friendly website is essential as people are becoming more dependent on their cell phones for general purposes including shopping.

Your site needs to be set up so that pictures load at the correct aspect ratio, and information is presented clearly.

10. You’re Not Optimizing for Voice Search

According to an Adobe survey, nearly 50% of consumers use voice search for general web searches. Voice searching is important, and its popularity will only grow with time. This means if you aren’t optimizing your site for voice searching, you’re making a huge mistake.

If you want to avoid making common SEO mistakes optimize for voice search, you’re going to need to follow the following tips:

– Answer Questions: Most people use voice search to ask questions. One of the best ways to appeal to an audience is to answer questions. This means doing things like featuring snippets and adding a Frequently Asked Questions page to your site.

– Make Sure Your Site’s Business Listing is Updated and Easy to Read: This listing must contain things like you’re business name, phone number, and address.

– Be Sure Your Site is Fast Enough for Mobile Users: If you’re curious how your website stacks up, check out tools like Google’s speed update.

As cellphones become a larger part of online searches, the number of people using voice search will only increase. Make this part of your SEO plan now to prevent falling behind in the future.

11. You’re Not Publishing Consistently

If you want to build up a loyal audience of readers and followers, you need to be updating at roughly the same day and time each week.

Your readers need to know what to expect, and are more likely to subscribe if the content is regularly updated.

12. You’re Not Using Anchor Text Correctly

It’s easy to think that the key to using internal linking is simply to use generic phrases like “click here to learn more,” but this may not be the best way to drive traffic to your site.

A good rule to keep in mind is that when you are doing a call-to-action, make the anchor text specific.

13. You’re Not Keeping Up with Search Engine Changes

One easy way to avoid making this common mistake is not being aware of new tools you have at your disposal.

This could be anything from new tools that Google is rolling out, to updates that can impact your ranking.

14. You’re Using Black Hat Methods

This is where we’re going to get a little technical as we understand the various tactics that make up your SEO strategy. There are two separate types of SEO strategies you can use, white hat or black hat:

  • White Hat Strategies: This phrase refers to respectable practices that are recommended by search engines. These tactics help you increase your search engine ranking. They can include things like an intuitive user interface on your website, having a site optimized mobile users with quick loading times, and creating quality content for users. If you are creating an SEO strategy, you should only use white hat strategy.
  • Black Hat Strategies: Black hat strategies are the opposite of white hat strategies. These strategies breach rules and practices recommended by search engines. It can include things like link farming, purchasing links, keyword stuffing, and hidden text. Most search engines block or ban sites that try to cheat the rules and guidelines.  

Black hat methods outside of just being unethical are also risky. You should avoid these methods if you want to have a successful SEO strategy. 

15. You’re Not Using a Professional

Given the constant changes and updates to sites like Google, being aware of everything and formatting your content accordingly can be nearly impossible. Many professionals believe that you can learn on the job, but as you trying to figure things out, you’re losing potential clients. 

Choosing someone to stay on top of the latest trends and algorithm changes can help put you ahead of the curve when it comes to your SEO strategy. They will also be aware of what strategies are effective, and which ones aren’t, so they can quickly implement your strategy. 

Find an SEO Expert to Help You Avoid These Common SEO Mistakes

The most common SEO mistakes usually involve not using the tools available to you. Many people who design their SEO strategy don’t know what they have available and so they lose out on sales.

If you want to avoid these beginner mistakes and build your brand quickly then contact us for SEO services today.

Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

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About the author...

Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.

With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

Jason Hall

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